I have worked specifically with sturgeon imagery for the past nine years, depicting the animal in contexts that reference their habitat, history and endangered status. Through this investigation, I have grown increasingly interested in the broader environmental situation. While currently the sturgeon is central in my work, other species are beginning to appear. I work with imagery from the natural world, using predominantly ceramic processes such as hand building, wheel throwing and slip casting. I am fascinated by current environmental shifts, and the resulting impact on habitat and species populations.
We are all witnesses to the transformations taking place in our natural world. Species arise and disappear at an incredible rate. Each day brings a new article highlighting the changes, from sturgeon and shark, to bee, brown bat and golden frog. We live in the company of animals, often unaware of our impact on their populations. I strive to depict both the beauty and the vulnerability of the natural world through visceral, complex compositions.
Margaret K. Haydon earned her MFA in ceramics in 1989 from San Francisco State University. She has been a working artist and teacher in the Colorado-Wyoming area since 1991. She currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Ceramics at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming. Her work is exhibited frequently around the country and internationally.
Haydon’s current work is based on iconic images of the great sturgeon, an ancient and endangered species. The sturgeon is an important animal socially, politically and genetically. Its unusual appearance captures the imagination. For the past nine years Haydon has combined her aesthetic work with fieldwork, seeking opportunities to connect with naturalists where ever she travels. She has worked with fish biologists in the United Stated, Canada and Hungary. In July 2013, Haydon gave a paper during the “Sturgeon as a Heritage Fish” session, at the 7th International Symposium on Sturgeon held in Nanaimo, BC, Canada. Her work was also featured in Ancients Among Us, an exhibition installed in conjunction with the symposium. Her proposed exhibition, In the Company of Animals, will be installed at the Leopold Gallery during the 2016 NCECA conference in Kansas City, Missouri, and her work will be featured at the Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria, in 2017 during the 8th International Symposium on Sturgeon. Haydon’s work continues in an interdisciplinary trajectory. While currently the sturgeon remains central in her work other species are beginning to appear.